It’s a team effort.

Looking for the right college is both exciting and overwhelming, and it’s a process that often involves the whole family. As a parent you play a critical part—as mentor, guide and organizer. It’s important for you to talk early on with your student about ways you can best work together.

Each of you will make important contributions to the process. Your student should define his goals for college and consider what type of school might best suit his personality. He should be responsible for meeting with a guidance counselor to get information about specific schools and answer questions the family may have.

As the more experienced member of the team, you can help keep the process organized and on schedule. You know the family finances, so you may help set expectations about tuition and expenses. Most importantly, you can lend insight to your student’s self-reflection.

Remember that communication is key to a successful team, so talk to your student frequently throughout the process. It’s also important to:

Download notes from presentation by Rhodes Associate Dean of Admission Terese Buscher--Parents′ Role in the College Process (PDF)